Today’s Gospel: John 16:29-33
The disciples said to Jesus, “Now You are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech. Now we realize that You know everything and that You do not need to have anyone question You…”
How many times have I said to the Lord, “Oh yeah, I got this, I understand. So, I do A, B and C and X, Y and Z will follow…”
Off I go making plans, taking action, only to realize a week, a day later – sometimes only an hour or two – I was in fact, way wrong. My understanding was only surface deep.
It’s at once both comforting and scary to realize the disciples weren’t any more talented than I at instantly fathoming what Christ’s words really mean. In the passage above, the disciples think the Lord is speaking plainly to them. They blithely spout off, “Oh yeah, we get this, we understand – You know everything so we don’t need to question (or think) so now we believe…”
Once again, the disciples (and you know I’m standing in line right behind them) jump the gun thinking they have it all figured out, and that gives them reason to believe. But they don’t have it all figured out, and Christ knows they don’t, and what’s more the Lord knows they (and we) can’t really figure it all out. The mystery of the Creator is too big for that.
But we’re supposed to keep trying, and over time I’ve come to understand at least this much: a little more contemplation, a little more prayer and a big old spoonful of humility – that’s what I need for breakfast each morning.
Care to join me?
How often do I twist and turn what the Lord says to me until it fits my own plans?
O Lord, your love and patience, astounds me and I thank you for never giving up on me. O Holy Spirit, you know my human fears, you know my human pride. Fill me with humility so I can listen, hear and obey the Lord, even when I don’t understand – especially when I don’t understand, how the Lord could ever choose me to do his work.
Copyright 2017 Annette K. Tenny
Annette K. Tenny is a freelance writer, member of the Catholic Writers Guild and a regular contributor to the Catholic News Herald, the diocesan newspaper of Charlotte, NC.